Arena: AT&T Arena
Date: November 13, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 5:15 p.m. PST
Leading Scorer: STOCKTON: Four Players Tied with 4 points
SAN ANTONIO: C Ben Street (6GP, 3-9-12)
The Stockton Heat return to the AT&T Center in San Antonio to take on the San Antonio Rampage for the second time this season. The Heat are trying to halt a skid that saw the team go winless in their last five games, which actually began on October 24 against these same Rampage.
Actually, the San Antonio Rampage have gone through a bit of a transformation as players like leading scorer Ben Street, defenseman Zach Redmond and goaltender Calvin Pickard all find themselves with the big club, the Colorado Avalanche.
Pickard looked like he’d pitch the shutout for the Rampage back on October 24 against the Heat until Freddie Hamilton scored his third goal of the season on the power play, but the netminder stopped 25 of 26 in the contest.
Street and Redmond both finished with an assist against the Heat.
While Street, Redmond and Pickard are big parts of the Rampage, the team still poses a huge threat with players like Mikko Rantanen (who finished the first matchup with a goal and an assist) and a player the Heat didn’t see in the first meeting, Andrew Agozzino, who is the active roster’s leader in points with 6 goals and 5 assists in six games.
LAST TIME VS. SAN ANTONIO
Fresh off of their second shutout win over the Texas Stars, the Heat took on the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio back on October 24 which didn’t go the way the team planned.
The Rampage scored twice in the first and struck three times in the second to storm out to a 5-0 lead before Freddie Hamilton scored his third goal of the season to ruin Calvin Pickard’s shutout bid. The loss started a streak of what is now five straight without a win.
WHO TO WATCH
It’s no secret that the Heat have struggled to score goals in recent memory, and one player in particular has been particularly snake-bitten recently.
Garnet Hathaway was a huge bright spot for the Adirondack Flames last season, playing in nearly every game and scoring a career high 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points. In fact, Hathaway was tied with Emile Poirier last year for the second most goals on the team.
And because of his tremendous season, work ethic, and great attitude, Hathaway was rewarded with an NHL contract, signing with the Calgary Flames on April 13, 2015.
However the former Brown University star has been unable to find the back of the net this season, despite a number of close efforts. His last goal scored occurred back on April 4, 2015 during last season but occurred in the AT&T Center against the Rampage. That game Hathaway also recorded his last multi-point effort, coming away with 2 goals and an assist in that game against San Antonio.
The winger, who works hard in the dirty areas of the ice, hasn’t been rewarded yet, but today might be as good-a-day as ever to snap his scoring drought and come up with a big offensive effort to help the Heat. We’re watching the alternate captain tonight!
EXPERIENCED GOALIE ACQUIRED AND ASSIGNED
Does the name Kevin Poulin seem familiar to you? Well for you Stockton Thunder fans, it should as Poulin was one of the main goaltenders for the ECHL team’s AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, last season.
The 25-year-old goalie is in his sixth year as a pro after splitting his first five seasons with the Sound Tigers and the New York Islanders.
This year started out a bit strange for the Montreal native as he was signed once again to the Islanders but failed to clear waivers earlier this season, being claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eventually, Poulin was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL but hasn’t gotten into a game this season.
Poulin though has been great at the AHL level, posting a 2.90 goals-against-average and .910 save-percentage in 141 games. The goalie has also gotten into 50 NHL games, all with the Islanders.
THE MIDDLE 20
When you look at the team’s goals allowed and goals against this season, one thing stands out. The Heat are outscored 11-2 in the second periods of games.
While the first period is fairly even (Heat-5 | Opponents-6) and the third period has been the best for the Heat thus far (Heat-8 | Opponents-3), for some reason the second period hasn’t been going as planned.
When you combine this info with shots by period, you can see that the second period is actually the only period of play the Heat are outshot in, allowing 90 shots while only taking 77.
Now for the records you can see just how critical the second period has been. The Heat are 1-0-0-0 when leading after two, 1-1-0-0 when tied after two, and 0-4-0-1 when trailing after two periods.
Keep an eye on the Heat’s performance during the second period because it could be telling on if the winless skid will snap tonight.
While a few members of the Heat are approaching career milestones, a couple could reach those tonight.
Freddie Hamilton is a goal shy of 50 career AHL goals while Emile Poirier is also 1 points shy of 50 career points in the AHL.
Kenny Agostino finds himself 3 points back of 50 and Colton Orr is 2 PIMS away from 600 PIMS in the AHL.